The Nation Sunday Print Edition - page 6

6
Sunday, February 15, 2015
pulse/events
By Gaston de Rosayro
J
ust as I predicted in my last column
the political hyenas with bared inci-
sors are baying for blood. In truth,
they are riding the crest of a vitriolic wave
of vendetta that has become a practised
blood sport following every election.
Yes, the sewer-rats too appear to be ex-
periencing a field day as they set off on a
frenzied stampede to lodge complaints of
kickbacks and corruption against their
perceived enemies. The majority of them
obviously carry a chip on their shoulder
and make such sweeping allegations with-
out the slightest proof.
What is common to all these figures, a
psychologist friend informs me, is that
they manifest the symptoms of ‘the quint-
essential political disease.’ This is to say
that the majority of them are ‘paranoids,’
or that they suffer from ‘paranoid person-
ality disorder.’ Such a situation implies
that the present leadership, because of the
nonsensical advice they receive, are being
all too easily pressurized into accepting a
view of reality which is both delusional
and irrational.
It is abundantly clear that there is a very
ugly witch hunt sweeping across the po-
litical bureaucratic and judicial dovecotes,
which many think is shamefully unfair.
Indeed, many express the opinion that it is
obscenely fraudulent and unjust. During
this period, though, we have been witness-
ing nail after nail being hammered into the
coffin of due process. Lynch mob mentality
has now completely taken over the hearts
and minds of these badly led people.
What we have had up to now has been an
ad hoc government of contradictions and
controversies. It has clearly manifested
that politics always prevails over justice.
Certainly it is not a beneficial legacy to
follow. It can ricochet with unexpectedly
stunning force.
We have witnessed a spate of relentless
campaigns against several suspected char-
latans and disreputable felons who every-
one knows have been milking the nation
dry. Yes, singling out those tainted with
unsavoury character would be expected of
any administration. But the truth is that
without proper investigations to unearth
irrefutable proof of wrongdoing would be
tantamount to witch-hunts. There is also
evidence of investigations being carried
out ostensibly to uncover subversive ac-
tivities but are actually used to hound and
undermine those with differing views.
Yes, we see such trumped up charges
triggered by crusades aimed at destroying
the careers and reputations of several ir-
reproachable personages in what unmis-
takably stand out as insidious frame-ups.
In fact, some of the victims are those who
upheld the highest standards of their pro-
fession and admirably advanced the cause
of democratic justice. Who is there now to
stand up to this ugly bullying?
The result of the recent change in leader-
ship has brought about a precariously frag-
ile arrangement of governance compris-
ing a host of defectors of the vanquished
President honeymooning with the main
Opposition UNP. And there appear the pe-
ripheral voyeurs awaiting any opening to
do an opportunistic leap into the marital
bed and make multitudinous whoopee with
whoever lusts after their warm embrace.
The voters would never have bargained
to be stuck with such a bizarre political ar-
rangement which leaves them languishing
in a sort of ‘no-man’s land.’ All they can do
at the moment is to watch how the seem-
ingly unstable polygamous union could
be sustained following the 100 day honey-
moon!
They must surely be frustrated by the
present Executive, Legislative and Judicial
gridlock the nation is confronted with at
the moment despite a good deal of clumsy
constitutional tinkering. In reality, things
have got worse recently. And all this un-
ravels as the country’s political arena is
turning even weirder as the perilous three
month deadline gets closer with no tangi-
ble work in evidence.
President Sirisena, no doubt, will find
this reversal annoying but he doesn’t seem
to have many options either. It is patently
clear that the cracks seem to have appeared
already within his interim administration.
At present, the hastily cobbled Cabinet ap-
pears to lack even a clear organizing theme
let alone being able to conjure up any bold,
strategic moves to overcome the crisis.
Sirisena who was considered among the
few prudent heads in the former Raja-
paksa Cabinet had displayed worries about
the corruption and reprehensible behav-
iour of some of his erstwhile colleagues.
As the Sri Lanka Freedom Party General
Secretary and Health Minister he had over
and over again denounced some of his own
Cabinet colleagues as being corrupt to the
core and lamented that they were getting
completely out of hand.
Although he stopped short of mentioning
any such offenders by name then, it seems
quite evident that he will reluctantly be
pressured to let them off the hook and hold
some of them to his bosom for the sake of
political survival. This clearly endorses
how ethics are thrown to the wind during
political exigencies.
Providing even temporary immunity to
such rascals will set the mish-mash coali-
tion on a sure course of electoral annihila-
tion. It would also be accurate to mention
that some of the interim Cabinet appoint-
ments are being discerned with circum-
spection by the voting public. Ominous
dark clouds of suspicion hover over the
heads of some of them regarding certain
alleged past disreputable dealings.
And the people are getting fed up to the
back teeth with the barefaced lies being
spouted by even some of the coalition’s
foremost leaders who are losing credibility
by attempting such subterfuge. Undoubt-
edly, they are trying to conceal their own
omissions by blatant and virulent fabrica-
tions in an endeavour to bushwhack any-
one seen as an obstacle to their progress.
Unquestionably, criminal elements have
to be brought justice whoever they are and
one must concede that no one is above the
law. But it must be done within the due pro-
cess of the law without fear of favor of po-
litical affiliations.
But now, the message being preached by
the Government is one of drastic and ur-
gent reform. Any administration in power
should have realized by now that the en-
trepreneurial sector can never achieve its
potential without a full-scale battle against
corruption. Besides, big foreign invest-
ment will not pour in without a major im-
provement in central governance. At the
heart of such a campaign must be the drive
to limit the myriad opportunities for cor-
ruption, bribery, pilferage and sinful waste
that plague the government sector.
The post-war development and rebuild-
ing of our infrastructure expansion is
regarded as necessary and estimable and
must continue. But the Government must
also ensure that democracy in the same
vein be built up as animatedly as its physi-
cal structural development.
History has proved that mere democratic
façades are always in danger of crumbling
and caving in on their nearsighted and
floppy political enclaves. And it will serve
them darn well right!
It is clear that there is a very ugly witch hunt sweeping across the political bureaucratic and judicial dovecotes, which many think is
shamefully unfair. Here former Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa emerges from the main prison hospital in Colombo after visiting
his former health minister Tissa Attanayake who has been remanded
Picture-AFP
personality disorder!
Paranoid political
The International Military Sport Council
(CISM) Day Run 2015 will take place on Febru-
ary 22, 2015 (Sunday) with the participation of
the Tri Services Commanders Commander of
the Army Lieutenant General Daya Rathnayake,
Commander of the Navy Vice Admiral Jayantha
Perera and Commander of the Air Force and
present president of the Defence Services Sports
Board Air Marshal Kolitha Gunatilleke.
The run is expected to be flagged off opposite
the Air Force Rifle Green Grounds, Colombo
at 6.15 a.m. One hundred personnel from each
service will participate in this year’s ‘CISM Day
Run’ which will cover 4 km.
CISM Day Run
Expose Forum (E-Forum) will be
held on February 19 from 5pm on-
wards at the BMICH. The event is
organized by the Department of Elec-
tronic and Telecommunication Engi-
neering, University of Moratuwa.
According to a release issued by the
organisers of the event, the event fea-
tures a panel discussion with indus-
try experts and the academia. It also
showcases groundbreaking research
feats for the current academic year,
while creating awareness of selected
cutting edge technology areas.
Expose Forum (E-Forum) is a com-
mon platform for the industry, aca-
demia and students specializing in
Electronic and Telecommunication
Engineering to come together with the
ultimate goal of gearing up to lead the
national development by strengthen-
ing mutual relationships.
Technology experts to speak at panel discussion
Attorney-at-Law Yasantha Kodagoda
has been appointed as an Additional
Solicitor General and a President's
Counsel.
Kodagoda’s appointments have been
made taking into consideration his pro-
fessional eminence at the Bar and se-
niority. His appointment as President's
Counsel was made by the President
Maithripala Sirisena on February 11.
He was born in Colombo in1965 and
had his primary and secondary educa-
tion at Ananda College Colombo. He at-
tended Sri Lanka Law College and then
proceeded to the University College
London (UCL), United Kingdom.He ob-
tained a Masters Degree (LL.M.) in Pub-
lic International Law (with Merit) from the
University College London (UCL). In ad-
dition to serving at theAttorneyGeneral’s
Department, from 2005-2011he func-
tioned as the Director of the Advanced
Legal Studies Unit of the Sri Lanka Law
College. He functioned as the Director of
the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies
(Sri Lanka) of the Incorporated Council
of Legal Education (Postgraduate wing
of the Sri Lanka Law College).
Yasantha Kodagoda appointed as
President's Counsel
Dr. indrajith Coomaraswmy (For-
mer Director, Economic Affairs,
Commonwealth Secretariat) will
deliver a lecture on ‘the role of the
state in economic reform in Sri
Lanka’ on February 25 (Wednesday)
at 4.30 pm at the ICES Auditorium,
2, Kynsey Terrace, Colombo 8.
Dr. Coomaraswamy was an of-
ficial of the Central Bank of Sri
Lanka from 1973-1989. He worked in
the Economic Research, Statistics
and Bank Supervision Divisions.
From 1981-89 he worked at the Min-
istry of Finance and Planning.
From 1990-2009 Dr. Coomaraswamy
worked with the Commonwealth
Secretariat. During that time, he
held the positions, inter alia, of Di-
rector, Economic Affairs Division
and Deputy-Director, Secretary-
General’s Office.
Lecture on ‘The Role of the State
in Economic Reform’
The Colombo School of Arts (CSA), the interna-
tional school with a Mission to inspire and empow-
er students by providing them with a holistic edu-
cation, is now open on Jawatte Road. As part of its
unique approach to education in the country, The
CSA is offering First Year Scholarships to Ordinary
and Advanced Level students, who are prepared
to work hard to obtain superior exam results. As
the school specializes on the senior school study
program, girls and boys, 14 years and above are
to be benefitted from this unique offer.
Identifying a dire need for a more rounded ap-
proach to nurture young students, CSA focuses
on providing an inspiring curriculum intended to
promote each student’s learning, personal growth
and development. In order to excel, young peo-
ple need to be challenged; supported to achieve
higher standards and encouraged to participate in
a range of creative, sporting and cultural activities
during their schooling years. For this purpose, CSA
is eager to create a nurturing environment coupled
with empowered thinking. The opportunity to se-
cure a First Year Scholarship to truly benefit from
this offering, is indeed good news to both students
and parents.
The CSAoffers the Cambridge International Ex-
aminations O-Level andA-Level programs. A team
of top academics and experienced teachers com-
mitted to delivering a well-structured education
have been put in place to ensure that the students
get the best possible opportunity to excel.
In addition to scholarships, the line up of ben-
efits CSA offers is impressive. From customized
study Programs that offer flexibility when it comes
to choosing subject combinations and Industry
Internships with top companies in the country to
Tutorial and Specialized Learning Support, CSA
plans to go that extra mile for their students. Ca-
reer Guidance and Counseling, two aspects that
are often overlooked during a child’s schooling pe-
riod will also be offered to students with absolutely
no additional fee.
CSA is an international co-educational school
affiliated to the Imperial Institute of Higher Edu-
cation (IIHE), Sri Lanka’s only institute which is
directly associated with the prestigious Univer-
sity of Wales ( theUK), offering BSc and MBA
degree programs.
CSA’s Principal Ms. Shaleeka Jayalath be-
lieves that by immersing our students in work re-
lated to their interests, our total approach to pro-
viding a holistic education will increase student
engagement and promote skills and knowledge
needed for achieving success in our students'
life and career goals. The CSA First Year Scholar-
ships are unique and parents should consider tak-
ing advantage of the offering.”
Colombo School of Arts offers First Year Scholarships
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